Counting Blessings for Thanksgiving!

Thank you to the Sakota Family!!

Judy E. Bushy
Thanks to the Sakota Family for making a Turkey Dinner!! Thanks Nell and all your helpers!
With so many sad things having come about, fire, disease and difficulties,do you remember how many things we have to be grateful for this Thanksgiving?

There is still so much to be thankful for. Even though the losses and grief have been uppermost, don’t forget that despite the difficulty, you have come through it all. You are on your way to recovery and you are a survivor so you can choose to express gratitude for God’s grace this year

The governor of Mississippi, Tate Reeves wrote: “It is fair to say that this last week (with two daughters in quarantine) has been the most difficult of 2020—a year we can all agree has by its very nature been tough on all of us.”

His family’s difficulties, have obviously been painful for him and resulted, he admits, “I wanted to feel sorry for myself. I wanted to focus on the challenges. Honestly, I wanted to focus on all of what we are going through these tough times. But when he prayed, he realized, “We are going to persevere. We are going to come out even stronger on the other side… Because God is with us and God is our ‘strength and refuge’ (Psalm 46).”

I am grateful to live in America where even political leaders, and everyday people still have freedom to express their personal faith whatever that may be!

I am very grateful for all the lessons learned this year. All the kindness shown by our Klamath neighbors and community to other’s during the tough times!

Although I wish my husband was able to be home right now, I am so thankful that he is in good hands and the physical therapy will make him stronger and able to return home soon.

We can be grateful to have a roof over our head and food in the cupboard, heater to keep warm. Electricity to have a today’s modern amenities. And even Wifi, for wonderful communications with loved ones; near and far!!.

Saturday there was a lot of action and a brand new star at the top of the tree by the Forest Service offices Parking Lot.

Our Fire Chief, Erik Haskell, says, “Thank you Mountain Enterprise for the help, and basically stringing up the new lights! Also for Home Depot for the great discount on the lights.
Remember Happy Camp this is for you!

Don’t forget the fifth of December for the parade and the lighting of the tree. Please come down decorate your rigs, lawn mowers, anything! Just put some lights on and join in the fun. Hope to see ya all on the fifth, thanks again Sincerely Chief 3300”

It is good to see the Christmas lights go up, as Linda Jo Martin said,
“Despite everything this little community has been going through this year [with Covid and the Slater Fire] the star is still going up on our community Christmas tree today. More lights to follow. God still loves us and the future is bright.”

That’s something for a lot of Thanksgiving!!

Happy Camp Appreciates Our Veterans!!

Wednesday is Veterans Day!

To all our readers who have served the United States of America in the service,
“Thank you!”
November 11th is the day that we celebrate our Veterans and out appreciation for them.

We have had sixty to eighty veterans to an appreciation dinner in Happy Camp in the past.
This year, of course, Covid 19 regulations make that impossible.

However, a committee got together and were able to arrange a Appreciation “Dinner to go” for the Veterans!

If you are a veteran, we hope that you have seen the fliers on the bulletin board and called Robin Eggers 707-951-4088 to R.V.S.P. that you will be coming by to pick up the dinners. If it is absolutely impossible to pick them up, some dinners may be able to be delivered. Call Robin and check on the situation.
Thanks, both for you service, and for allowing us to tell YOU HOW MUCH WE APPRECIATE YOUR SERVICE AND YOU!!
Wednesday is Veterans Day!]

Lisa Haas brings us Trees, Trees, Trees!

Maple Leaves full of color!

By Judy E. Bushy
Lisa Haas grew up in Happy Camp! Her family has resided there for many, many generations. Recently, Lisa has watched from afar the devastation and have truly admired the way the community has come together to help one another.

While wondering how one can help raise hope within the community. and a lengthy and crazy discussion with her Mom, Ellen Johnson, the solution to begin was planting trees!
sO lISA talked with Kevin from Eugene Wholesale Nursery about what types of trees would be best in this situation.

Kevin has suggested Maple and Poplar. They are reported to be fire resistant and grow rapidly. They are also beautiful an full of color!

My 21st birthday, AGAIN) is November 8th! We will be coming down with whatever trees are reasonably priced as the price decreases with the amount we buy. I will continue to make trips down until everyone has a tree and then some!

The hope is to see beautiful color and regrowth by next summer/fall.

Many of my family and friends have lost their homes, Lisa said. “I haven’t lived there in quite some time but do visit often. Please reach out to those that I am not aware of that also lost their homes and have them contact me so I can ensure everyone gets a little hope.”

To raise funds for this purpose Lisa has set up a gofundme. account. See below for a link.

“I look forward to hearing from everyone so we can plant a hope tree together!”

Community Banner “Happy Camp Strong” Signing

Fire Chief Erik Haskell fixin’ burgers for the gathering at the River Park!

Strong or not strong, having a home or homeless, whatever situation, signing a banner was celebrated Saturday at the Happy Camp River Park! It was a great opportunity to visit with others in the community who are all working through this difficult time.

There was be free food “to go!” Erik Haskell, Local Fire Chief was busy flipping burgers. This gave some an opportunity to come up and thank Eric for the heroic work that he and the other volunteer Firefighters did on September 8th when the Slater Fire began and thereafter.

Eriks reply was, “I wish we could have saved more.” But what they did was amazing and greatly appreciated by all.

There was also music! Music for the gathering at the Happy Camp River Park was provided by Todd Gilbert and Scott Grandstaff and much enjoyed! While they played on the stage, participants came along and signed the giant white banner with the bold black letters, “Happy Camp Strong!”

Todd Gilbert & Scott Grandstaff provided the music for the event.

The Banner is now displayed on Connor’s Cardlock Fence at the corner of Davis Road and Hwy 96.

Support was to be on hand from many community members including county staff, local pastors, local residents, emergency services volunteers and more. Raffle drawings were held Social distancing was encouraged and masks and hand sanitizer were also available.

Slater Fire Evacuation – September 8, 2020

Evacuation Sept. 8, 2020 by Ryan Mitchell

by Judy E. Bushy
Meanwhile, community member’s were getting up. They were going to jobs, to school, to meetings. They had plans for the day. If they noticed the wind, like wind hit the branches on our majestic walnut tree, they didn’t know it was 30 to 50 mile an hour winds. They didn’t know the small fire that had been reported was growing amazingly and coming our way, Slater Fire!

Bill Munton, a Volunteer Happy Camp Fireman, called. He said he had to stand by in case fire up Luther Gulch needed him to go, ande couldn’t pick Dan.
But by 10 there were folks stopping on the streets, along Highway 96 and down Davis Road. It looked like they were gathering for a parade. They weren’t looking down the street. They were looking to the sky where a mounting cloud of heavy smoke billowed like a mountain in the beautiful blue sky.

Ann came up the road from the River Park and told me the wind was blowing dust around too much for a stroll in the park or to sit “social distanced” around a picnic table at the pavilion. No one else was there, we’d meet another day.

More were watching the sky by the Post Office. There was some nervousness but no one was running home to pack a bag as far as I knew.

Besides, the Karuk Tribe Senior Meals would be delivered to 150 homes for lunch soon. It might be shepherd’s pie, a favorite that had been missed the day before.

Even though we went home for lunch. There was no hurry to pack a bag or anything, after all we hadn’t gotten a warning call by telephone. Later we learned others had, and a long line formed at the Connor’s Cardlock, the only place in town to get gas. That call probably saved the lives of many Happy Campers.

First we knew about evacuation was much later. The electricity had gone off. Our son called from his home in Rancho Cordova asking for prayer for a friends aged father in Happy Camp who had been told to evacuate but wanted to stay and help fire fighters.

We called some who might need a ride out of town but got no answer. We decided to leave but there were photos and memory books to put in the car.
Even after we left, we remembered the prescription and went back to the post office. The streets were eerily empty of people.
Turning back to Davis road, fire engines were on the street. Workers ignored us as they laid hose up and down the street. Still we had no idea of the immediacy of the problem and even stopped by recently reopened Quigley Station where we enjoyed a strawberry cheese cake before driving in to Yreka.

Arriving in Yreka we learned I-5 going north was closed due to fire in Ashland. Even Highway 97 was closed so there was no way to proceed north. Our son called and said there were no rooms to be found in Yreka, but he found a room for us at SisQ Inn in Weed. Two nights seemed extravagant when we probably could have stayed home as there were so many fires; on the Salmon River and elsewhere. But then we learned that many of our neighbors were worried about their homes.

Not knowing what a catastrophic event was happening we were cozy there, right next to the office was a peaceful little garden where beautiful roses grew. We had an inkling from some reports but hoped it was isolated incidents. But eventually we learned the Red Cross was at the Karuk Housing Welless Center in Yreka and thought we should learn more. What was happening?

There we saw more of our friends and neighbors than had seem the whole first nine months of the year. We alternated tears a d grief at losses, worry about those we hadn’t heard from, and joy when we heard others were safe. It was difficult not to hug and tears were flowing. We wore our masks and had temperatures taken to enter the Wellness center. Sometimes it was hard to recognize friends with masks on and teary eyes.

Gradually we learned of friends who had escaped with ashes from the fire raining down on them. Some escaped with the clothes on their back, grabbing a pet or phone and fleeing for their lives. Children had been scooped up in the car without all the necessary supplies when to leave was the important thing.

We were showered with kindness. Red Cross had no rooms available but was planning to set up cots in the gym. Happy Camp Community Center received grants from Ford Foundation and one from United Way.

We’ve gone the gamut from grief to hope, to anxiety of not knowing what the future holds, like s roller coaster. Not knowing has been hard and many wish to fight those keeping the evacuated out with severely hazardous situations still on the ground.

While fire has often been all around us, the whole town being evacuated hasn’t occurred in Happy Camp. Seiad Valley has been evacuated four out of five years,now five out of six as they’re threatened by the Devil fire

Slater Fire Fighting; September 8, 2020

Slater Fire from Davis Road

Photo Judy E. Bushy and report on activities of the day Mario Gomez
Happy Camp has been evacuated and nearly wiped out this week.
Mario’s day started when he arrived at the Slater Butte lookout to rescue Brian who staffed the FS lookout. He had reported a tree downed by wind had hit an electrical line, starting a small fire.

This wasn’t to be a normal day, Strong winds made the difference!
By 930 we had fire rolling through houses and blowing across Indian Creek like a freight train.
Now, Mario Gomez was born and raised in Happy Camp. After Happy Camp High School he attended College of the Siskiyous in Weed, so you might say he’s a Siskiyou County boy. Mario has been OPS Chief on many recent catastrophic fires like the Carr fire and Mendocino Complex.

“Being the Incident Command and OPS chief on a fire burning through my hometown, Happy Camp, where I experienced fire fighting for 22 years ;can’t even explain to you!
Mario isn’t the only one to say it was like we were in a bad dream and couldn’t wake up.
Our local fire fighters with Mario, and folks that showed up from out of town did everything we possibly could to save as many lives as possible.

At 11 pm we had the fire roll on top of us in the Meadows like a hurricane from Hell and exploded the whole fist . A raging inferno! For the next four hours with 20 engines and our local crew saving what few houses that remain in the area of the Meadows today.
“It was a complete war zone! Bullets going off, propane tanks blowing up and so much more!

“Fire fighters and law enforcement officers spent that horrific thirty hours are true heroes! I can’t believe with everything that happened. No first responders died. IT’s a complete miracle!

“So many of my family members, friends and coworkers have lost their home and everything they own, Those fire fighters are still on the line fighting the blaze. Heroes and true soldiers, those guys and gals are truly amazing!

Mario left the fire to go join his current team 1 incident manager in Southern California, but wanted Happy Camp to rest assured about being in good hands..

Slater Fire Coming toward Happy Camp

Slater Fire from Davis Road

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